Uruguay and Chile surprise event top dogs
FAVOURITES India and host nation Canada were given shocks in the opening skirmishes of the women’s World League 2 event in Vancouver.
While India survived a 2-2 scoreline with Uruguay by taking the penalty shuffles 4-2 to secure a winning draw, Canada were stunned by Chile 1-0 leaving the South Americans in the box-seat in Pool B.
The Indians, in their first tournament under Dutch coach Marijne Sjoerd, went ahead through their captain Ritu Rani, who deflected home a penalty corner in the fourth minute.
The half ended with India in front but relentless second-half pressure from Uruguay paid off as they levelled through Maria Viana Ache. India struck again – another deflection finding the net, this time through Vandana Katariya – but they then conceded a penalty stroke which was dispatched by Manuela Pilar.
Canada, had opened their campaign with a 60 thrashing of Mexico but came up against a Chile side who had also rampaged through their first game, a 9-1 thrashing of Trinidad and Tobago.
With only one rank- ing place between the two sides, higher-rated Canada might have expected to make the most of home advantage.
Both sides had a chance from the penalty spot, but both were saved by their respective goalkeepers and it was finally Chile who went in front, through a penalty corner which was swept home by their captain, Camila Caram.
Canada piled on the pressure, forcing three corners in a row and then substituting the goalkeeper for the extra player on field, but could find no way through.
Alex Thicke, with two, Stephanie Norlander, Kate Wright, Sara McManus and Brienne Stairs were on target for Canada against Mexico.
India, who are ranked 12th in the world, then took control of Pool A with a 1-0 victory over Belarus, Vandana getting her second goal of the tournament with a fine backhand shot.
The event features seven teams after the withdrawal of France.
Pool A: India 2-2 Uruguay, Belarus 2-1 India.
Pool B: Chile 9-1 Trinidad & Tobago, Canada 6-0 Mexico, Chile 1-0 Canada.
Heart ache: Uruguay celebrate Maria Viana Ache’s goal against India
Take that! India’s Vandana Katariya is delighted to score India’s second goal